The Communist Party of the Philippines (CPP) denounces the Duterte regime and its minions in the House of Representatives for scrapping the eight-hour workday and extending it to 10-12 hours under the so-called “compressed workweek” employment scheme.
House Bill 6152 (“An act increasing the normal work hours per day under a compressed work week scheme”) was approved with dispatch by the reactionary congress. If enacted, it will institutionalize the widespread anti-worker flexible employment schemes which have permitted capitalists to extend the workhours under various names.
Scrapping the eight-hour workday will give the capitalists the opportunity to maximize profits by intensifying the exploitation of workers who have long suffered from low wages, extended working hours and widespread unemployment and job insecurity. This will give the capitalists the opportunity to wring the last centavo from the workers labor-power without additional compensation.
In seeking to scrap the eight-hour workday, the Duterte regime is further proving itself an anti-worker regime. It has turned a deaf ear to the clamor for higher wages and for a national minimum wage. It has turned its back on promises to end labor contractualization and perpetuated it instead through regulations.
The Duterte regime continues to promote the package of anti-worker flexible labor policies with the aim of attracting foreign big capitalists by offering them the opportunity to subject workers to more exploitative and oppressive conditions and gain maximum profits.
The plan to scrap the eight-hour workday will be a historic setback for the Filipino workers as well as the international workers’ movement. The right to an eight-hour workday, universally recognized in the early 20th century after being established as a socialist standard, was among the greatest victories attained by the working class around the world.
In view of the threat to the eight-hour workday, the Party urges the Filipino workers to build and strengthen their unions and various forms of associations and mount struggles to oppose such a scheme and at the same time amplify their clamor for wage increases, job regularization and security and an end to unjust conditions of work.